The Andhra Pradesh Government will form a Cabinet sub-committee to study a proposal to increase input subsidy for farmers in the cyclone-hit areas in the State.

“Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy will soon form the ministerial panel on the issue. We have directed the officials to clear pending claims of Rs 120 crore for input subsidy from farmers,” Kanna Lakshminarayana, Minister for Agriculture, said.

The Minister was reviewing the status of rabi crop and the impact of Nilam cyclone in various districts with the officials of Agriculture Department.

He had asked the officials to complete the enumeration of cyclone losses in the next 4-5 days and to prepare a plan for alternative crops for farmers in the areas impacted by the cyclone.

On clearing the input subsidy arrears for farmers who were hit by the severe drought in 2011, he said the disbursals had been delayed because of the newly introduced online system.

“But we were able to disburse Rs 1,700 crore on this count,” he said.

Keeping in view the problems in reaching out to the farmers in times of disbursals, the Government had begun collecting bank account numbers of farmers at the time of enumeration. “This will help delays in payments,” he felt.

Babu flayed

Meanwhile, the Minister for Agriculture flayed N. Chandrababu Naidu, former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam President, for making unrealistic promise of waiving crop loans if voted to power. “We will welcome if he can really waive the loans. But he should tell how he is going to do that,” the Minister wondered.

(This article was published on November 18, 2012)
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